25 June 2019
Member States Consider Final Draft of SDG Summit Declaration
Photo by IISD/ENB
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The final draft, titled 'Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,' is under silence procedure until Wednesday, 26 June 2019, at 6 pm EST.

The SDG Summit will take place in New York, US, from 24-25 September 2019.

The final section of the declaration is Our Call to Accelerated Action, including a list of ten commitments, beginning with "leaving no one behind".

21 June 2019: The political declaration to be adopted at the SDG Summit has been circulated in final draft form. Titled ‘Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,’ the outcome document will be considered agreed by UN Member States if no objections are raised by 26 June 2019.

The SDG Summit is the meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to be convened under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the level of Heads of State and Government. It will take place in New York, US, from 24-25 September 2019.

The final draft of the outcome document is the result of consultations co-facilitated by Sheila Carey, Permanent Representative of Bahamas, and Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of Sweden. They issued a zero draft of the text on 17 May, on which they heard preliminary feedback on 22 May and detailed views during informal-informal consultations on 7 June. A revised draft was issued on 10 June and discussed in consultations beginning on 17 June. Key changes between the zero draft and the revised draft are reviewed in this article from Global Policy Watch.

Leaders would commit to ensuring “ambitious and continuous action” on the SDG targets with a 2020 timeline.

The final draft retains the three-part structure, beginning with a section on ‘Our Commitment.’ By this text, heads of state and government would commit to “ensure ambitious and continuous action” on the SDG targets with a 2020 timeline – rather than a commitment to achieving them, as in the revised draft. The zero draft did not include a reference to the 2020 targets.

The latest text affirms that climate change “is one of the greatest challenges of our time.” It expresses “profound alarm” about the continued rise of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, highlighting impacts on developing countries in particular. It also would have leaders commit to halting ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, rather than to “reversing the trends” in that area.

In the section on ‘Our World Today,’ the text takes note with appreciation of – rather than “welcomes” as in the zero draft and first revision – the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) and the Secretary-General’s Progress Report on the SDGs. This version of the text does not refer to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President’s anticipated summary of the July 2019 session of the HLPF.

The final section, ‘Our Call to Accelerated Action,’ now calls on the UN Secretary-General to organize an “annual moment to highlight inspiring SDG action” in the context of the UNGA’s general debate each September.

This section also includes a list of ten commitments, beginning with leaving no one behind, which is significantly expanded over the version in the zero draft. It reads, “we intend to see the goals and targets met for all nations and peoples, and for all segments of society. And we will endeavor to reach the furthest behind first.” The other commitments are headed: mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing; enhancing national implementation; strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions; bolstering local action to accelerate implementation; reducing disaster risk and building resilience; solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership; harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development; investing in data and statistics for the SDGs; and strengthening the HLPF.

In the latter commitment on the HLPF, heads of state and governments would “pledge” to conduct an “ambitious and effective review” of the Forum’s format and organizational aspects.

The final draft is under silence procedure until Wednesday, 26 June at 6 pm EST. [Final Draft (21 June)]

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